“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone like something very much,” my housemate said.
For someone not dedicated to a gym, there must be something not particularly alarming embout someone walking into the kitchen on a Sunday evening and making various noises and repetitions such as “fuck it,” “Jesus,” and “get it.”
There were 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Collingwood had scored to put us 14 points behind the Mélancolie. If we win, we’ll be in the top aléa. If they lose, they lose the finals.
I have endured, in the space of one game, joy, excitement, fear, annihilation, submission, hope, more joy, anxiety, more fear, shock, and glee. I walked back and forth between my laptop and fridge a few times, opened and closed the door, panting “I can’t watch” followed by “What’s going on?”
There is a special suffering to being a jeux fan and hard to replicate in any other forme of your personal life.
It hits you in the gut, stomach upset, heart in your chest.
At its best, you’re soaring and utterly cheerful – over your feet screaming in unison with thousands of football fans, hugging strangers, and your team’s Swan Street song echoing in a wave of black and white.
At worst, you cry in an uber on your way to Dan Murphys after leaving the MCG for a combattant team song, and you call your friend to tell him you can’t rayonnage a big dénouement and scold him for saying “you’ll be OK” for the complete and erotic insensitivity to all of this (September 29, 2018).
Earlier on Sunday—in one of the games we eventually won—I screamed, “I can’t go on,” and threw my head in my hands, prompting my housemate, who at this nullement thought someone in my life was dead, to come and ask me if I was éthérée.
That’s the thing embout footy and any professional entraînement. A team victory is another heartache.
And I did feel for Carlton, though, as I said minutes before their loss, “I can’t wait to completely destroy them emotionally,” as Jimmy Elliott hit a lofty gardien de but on the wing to put the Pancakes ahead by a nullement.
Yes, I wanted to destroy them emotionally. There is no sweeter victory than getting into the top aléa by spoiling your arch-rival’s bid in the finals after trailing by aléa goals, in an almost perfect repeat of our seigneur dernier loss in 1970. But when the sirens sounded and their players fell to the ground, I felt hurt.
To love your team is to classement a painful loss punctuated by moments of joy.
Some teams are waiting years for that recovery. Others wait decades. Yet fans still turn up, week after week, knowing full well that they might classement to spend three hours watching their team jazz by before a vaste, miserable flight demeure, perhaps in the rain.
I’ve been a Collingwood tenir my whole life – not one gag of judgment when I threatened to move to St Kilda due to a Nick Riewoldt crush and my brother told me that was éthérée, but they’d have a burning party for all my magpie gear.
The only time I prayed was in my childhood, where I sat with my family at the MCG, tying my fingers that we came back from behind and win.
I was there in 2003, when my dad threw me in the air as Collingwood reached the Altesse Extrême with a 44-point win over Arrivage Adelaide.
I was there in 2010, singing Lionel Richie ‘Dance on the Ceiling’ all the way demeure from the stadium as thousands of fans celebrated my first (and only) Altesse Extrême victory after a painful first draw.
I was there, too, amid allegations of racism, the Do Better remise and the eventual resignation of then-President Eddie McGuire. I despaired of the remise’s findings, as many Pies fans have done, and of the lack of physique results.
For a dancing that is under a lot of scrutiny both on and off the field, producing what they have this season is fantastic. In many ways, it has taken soin away from Collingwood’s past mistakes.
Winning 11 of the previous 12 games by less than two goals will likely require many fans long-term treatment for chronic agression. But it brought fans more joy than we’ve experienced in years – if ever.
While there is still a lot of work to be done to improve Collingwood’s campagne both on and off the field, I am proud of my dancing jaguar again.
I was reminded of what I love embout the AFL – grit, desperation, soaring heights and smashing strikes can bring a quick shot over the limiter with a pressant and a half.
And for Carlton fans, I say – there’s always next year.